Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions, 2007
Chapter

BANGLADESH

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
October 2007
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(Position as of December 31, 2006)

Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: April 11, 1994.
Exchange Measures
Restrictions and/or multiple currency practicesThe staff report for the fifth review under the three-year arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility with Bangladesh states that as of October 10, 2006, Bangladesh maintained a restriction on the convertibility and transferability of proceeds from nonresident taka accounts. (Country Report No. 06/406)
International security restrictions
In accordance with IMF Executive Board Decision No. 144-(52/51)Banks and other financial institutions have been instructed to block all capital transfers and to freeze financial assets of individuals, groups, and organizations associated with terrorism, pursuant to the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Bangladesh is the Bangladesh taka.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Managed floating with no predetermined path for the exchange rateThe Bangladesh Bank (BB) intervenes in the foreign exchange market to limit undue fluctuations in the exchange rate.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketADs may buy and sell foreign currency forwards in accordance with international practices. Currency swaps and forward exchange transactions of ADs with nonbank customers are required to be backed by approved underlying commercial transactions. ADs are required to cover at least 50% of their forward sales by forward purchases. The remaining portion may be covered by interbank forward purchases and spot purchases of export bills. In addition, forward sales associated with swap transactions are not required to be covered by forward purchases. Although the limits on outstanding swap transactions have been relaxed, counterparty limits on swap transactions between ADs are determined according to core risk management guidelines prescribed by the BB through Banking Regulation and Policy Department Circular No. 17, dated October 17, 2003.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksBanking Regulation and Policy Department Circular No. 17, dated October 17, 2003.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements normally take place in convertible currencies and, in some cases, through nonresident taka accounts. Settlements with ACU member countries must be effected through the ACU and in units denominated in AMUs (equivalent in value to the dollar). Payments for imports may be made to any country (with the exception of countries from which imports are prohibited). They may be made (1) in taka for credit in Bangladesh to a nonresident bank account of the country concerned, (2) in the currency of the country concerned, or (3) in any freely convertible currency. Export proceeds must be received in freely convertible foreign exchange or in taka from a nonresident taka account.
Controls on the use of domestic currencyControls apply to the use of domestic currency for current and capital transactions and payments.
Use of foreign exchange among residentsYes.
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangements
OperativeThere is an operative bilateral payments arrangement with Myanmar.
Regional arrangementsBangladesh is a member of the ACU.
Clearing agreementsYes.
Administration of controlForeign exchange policy is administered by the BB in accordance with general policy formulated in consultation with the MOF. Licenses are issued to banks as ADs in foreign exchange. The chief controller of imports and exports of the Ministry of Commerce is responsible for registering exporters and importers and for issuing Import Policy Orders (IPOs). Registered importers may make their imports under the terms of the IPO against LCs. LC authorization forms (LCAFs) are issued by ADs and do not require a separate import license.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
On domestic ownership and/or tradeThere are no restrictions on the internal sale, purchase, or possession of gold or silver ornaments (including coins) and jewelry, but there is a prohibition on the holding of gold and silver in all other forms except by licensed manufacturers or dentists.
On external tradeThe importation and exportation of gold and silver require special permission. However, women may bring in or take out any amount of personal jewelry worn by them or brought as part of their accompanying personal luggage, without prior approval. Exports of gold jewelry and imports of gold and silver for the export or manufacture of jewelry are allowed under the Jewelry Export Scheme.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyA resident or nonresident may take out up to Tk 500 in domestic currency.
Foreign currencyResidents may take out foreign currency and traveler’s checks up to the amount of any travel allocation they are granted, and also up to the equivalent of $5,000 brought in without declaration when returning from a visit abroad. Nonresidents may take out the foreign currency and traveler’s checks they declared on entry or up to the equivalent of $5,000 brought in without declaration. Foreign tourists may reconvert unspent taka at ADs on production of documentary evidence that the taka were acquired through a conversion of foreign exchange that had been brought into the country.
On imports
Domestic currencyThe importation of Bangladesh currency exceeding Tk 500 is prohibited.
Foreign currencyForeign currency traveler’s checks and foreign currency notes may be brought in freely up to the equivalent of $5,000, but larger amounts should be declared to customs on arrival in Bangladesh.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyResidents returning from abroad may bring in any amount of foreign currency and may maintain a resident foreign currency deposit account (RFCD) with the foreign exchange brought in. However, proceeds of exports of goods and services from Bangladesh or commissions arising from business deals in Bangladesh may not be credited to such accounts. Balances in these accounts are freely transferable abroad and may be used for travel in the usual manner. These accounts may be opened in dollars, euros, pounds sterling, and yen. Local and joint-venture contracting firms executing projects financed by a foreign donor or international agency may open foreign currency accounts. Returning nonresident Bangladeshis who did not open or maintain a foreign currency deposit account while abroad may open an RFCD with foreign exchange brought in from abroad within six months of the date of their return to take up permanent residence in Bangladesh. Foreign currency accounts may also be opened in the names of diplomatic missions in Bangladesh, their expatriates, the UN and its agencies, and diplomatic bonded warehouses (duty-free shops). Foreign currency accounts may be opened in the name of resident Bangladesh nationals working for foreign or international organizations operating in Bangladesh if their salaries are paid in foreign currency.
Exporters are permitted to open Exporters’ Retention Quota accounts against a certain percentage of the repatriated export proceeds.
Held abroadResidents who opened an account abroad when residing abroad may maintain it after returning to Bangladesh.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadNo.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyADs may open convertible taka accounts in the names of foreign organizations or nationals (i.e., diplomatic missions, UN organizations, nonprofit international bodies, foreign contractors, and consultants) engaged for specific projects for the government or government agencies and the expatriate employees of such missions or organizations who are resident in Bangladesh. These accounts may be credited with foreign currency brought in or remitted from abroad or transferred from a foreign currency account or another convertible taka account and may be debited for (1) local payments in taka, (2) remittances abroad in convertible currency, (3) transfers to foreign currency accounts or other convertible taka accounts, and (4) credits to nonconvertible taka accounts.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedBangladesh nationals residing abroad; foreign nationals, companies, and firms registered or incorporated abroad; banks and other financial institutions, including institutional investors; officers and staff of Bangladesh missions, government institutions, autonomous bodies, and commercial banks posted abroad or seconded to international or regional agencies may open and maintain during their assignment abroad nonresident foreign currency deposit accounts that bear interest and are denominated in dollars, euros, pounds sterling, or yen. These accounts may be credited in initial minimum amounts equivalent to $1,000 ($25,000 for foreigners) with remittances in convertible currencies and transfers from existing foreign currency deposit accounts maintained by Bangladesh nationals abroad. The accounts bear interest if their terms range from one month to one year. The balance, including interest earned, may be transferred in foreign exchange by the account holder to any country or to any foreign currency deposit account maintained by Bangladesh nationals abroad. The balances in the accounts, which are freely convertible into taka, must be reported monthly by banks to the BB. The accounts may be maintained as long as the account holders desire. Nonresident Bangladesh nationals who did not open or maintain a foreign currency deposit account while abroad may open an RFCD with foreign exchange brought in from abroad within six months of the date of their return to take up permanent residence in Bangladesh. All nonresident accounts are regarded for exchange control purposes as accounts related to the country in which the account holder is a permanent resident. (The accounts of the UN and its agencies are treated as resident accounts.)
Domestic currency accountsForeign missions and embassies and their expatriate personnel, foreign airline and shipping companies, and international nonprofit organizations in Bangladesh may open interest-bearing convertible taka accounts, but the interest earned may be disbursed in local currency only. Taka accounts of individuals, firms, or companies residing outside Bangladesh are designated as nonresident accounts. For portfolio investments in Bangladesh through the stock exchange, a nonresident may open a nonresident investor’s taka account (NITA) with any AD with foreign exchange remitted from abroad through normal banking channels or through transfer of funds from a foreign currency account. The balance in the NITA may be used freely to buy Bangladesh shares and other securities. These balances are also freely transferable to foreign currency accounts opened in the names of (1) Bangladesh nationals residing abroad and Bangladesh nationals working and earning abroad, including self-employed Bangladesh migrants residing abroad; (2) foreign nationals residing abroad or in Bangladesh; (3) foreign firms registered abroad and operating in Bangladesh or abroad; and (4) foreign missions and their expatriate employees. Balances in these accounts are remittable abroad in equivalent foreign exchange.
Convertible into foreign currencyFunds from NITAs and convertible taka accounts may be converted freely.
Blocked accountsAmounts in nonresident taka accounts covering unapproved payments may be blocked by the BB.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for imports
Advance payment requirementsAdvance payments for permissible imports of goods and services may be effected by ADs without prior BB permission against a repayment guarantee from a bank abroad. However, advance payments of up to the equivalent of $2,500 for imports of books, journals, or lifesaving medicines do not require any repayment guarantee.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsInstructions have been issued to ADs to avoid irregularities during importation through land ports: (1) only one port of entry (land port) is to be named in the LC; (2) a copy of the LC and subsequent amendments, if any, including other relevant information, is to be sent to the land port authority; (3) specimen signatures of the officials working at the import-export desks of the ADs concerned, along with their contact phone and fax numbers, are to be supplied to all land ports of Bangladesh; (4) a list regarding entry of goods into Bangladesh, a certified invoice, and a bill of entry evidencing entry of goods into Bangladesh are to be collected directly from the concerned land ports by ADs’ agents or representatives. Effective initiative is to be taken to create and maintain a database that may be accessed by all ADs; (5) the LC should not contain any reimbursement or debit authority; rather, it should stipulate the following payment terms: “on receipt of documents complying with credit terms, we shall effect payment as per instructions of negotiating bank or collecting bank”; and (6) LCs covering value more than $5,000 or its equivalent should be sent through the Society for World-Wide Interbank Financial Telecommunications to the advising bank.
Domiciliation requirementYes.
Preshipment inspectionInspection is required for all imports, with a few exceptions.
Letters of creditPayment against imports is generally permissible only under irrevocable LCs. However, a consignment of perishable food items not exceeding $7,500 or its equivalent in value may be imported overland without an LC; capital machinery and industrial raw materials may also be imported without LCs and without limit on value. Recognized export-oriented units operating under the bonded warehouse system may import up to four months’ requirements of their raw and packing materials by establishing import LCs without reference to any export LC. They may also effect such imports by opening back-to-back LCs (either on a sight basis under the Export Development Fund, or for up to 180 days on a usance basis) against export LCs received by them. ADs may establish LCs on an f.o.b. basis without the approval of the BB, subject to certain conditions. Foreign exchange for authorized imports is provided automatically by ADs when payments are due.
Import licenses used as exchange licensesLC authorization forms are issued by ADs and do not require a separate import license.
OtherADs are not permitted to open new LCs for importers who have failed to submit within the stipulated time period the bills of entry of imports or customs-certified invoices as evidence of actual importation of such goods.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresAll importers (including all government departments, with the exception of the Ministry of Defense) are required to obtain LCAFs for all imports. Under the authority of the IPO issued by the chief controller, importers are allowed to effect imports against LCAFs that are issued for imports under bilateral trade or payments agreements and for imports under tied-aid programs. LCAFs are otherwise valid worldwide, except for imports from Israel and imports transported on Israeli flag vessels, which are prohibited. Goods must be shipped within 18 months of the date of issuance of LCAFs in the case of machinery and spare parts, and 12 months in the case of all other items.
Positive listItems not specified in the control list of the IPO may be imported freely, provided the importer has a valid import registration certificate.
Negative listThe control list contains 24 items in about 357 categories at the four-digit level of the harmonized system codes. The importation of these items is restricted or prohibited for public safety, religious, environmental, or social reasons, or if similar items are produced locally.
Open general licensesAll items not on the control list may be imported freely by registered importers.
Licenses with quotasUnless otherwise specified in the IPO, industrial units approved on a regular basis are allowed to import up to 300% of their regular import entitlement of items whose import is banned for commercial purpose and that are importable by industrial consumers only. Industrial units approved on an ad hoc basis are allowed to import up to the maximum value, not exceeding 100% of their half-yearly import entitlement.
Import taxes and/or tariffsEffective July 1, 2006, there are four tariff bands: zero, 5%, 12%, and 25% (previously, zero, 6%, 13%, and 25%). A number of goods are subject to regulatory duties, import license fees, and infrastructure development charges.
State import monopolyNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsProceeds from exports must be repatriated within four months of shipment unless otherwise permitted by the BB.
Surrender requirements
Surrender to authorized dealersExporters are required to surrender to ADs 90% of the proceeds from exports of ready-made garments and other goods with high import content, and 50% (previously, 60%) of the proceeds from exports of merchandise and computer data entry and software services. They may use retained earnings for bona fide business purposes, such as business travel abroad; establishment and maintenance of offices abroad; participation in trade fairs and seminars; and imports of raw materials, spare parts, and capital goods. Fully foreign-owned industries and joint ventures or Bangladesh industries, other than in the garment industry, located in EPZs are allowed to retain 100% and 80%, respectively, of their export earnings in a foreign currency deposit account. Joint ventures and Bangladesh industries in the ready-made garment sector located in EPZs may retain 75% of their export earnings in a foreign currency deposit account.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsEffective March 29, 2006, besides bills of lading and airway bills issued by the carriers concerned, negotiation of export bills may also take place against Forwarders’ Cargo Receipts (FCRs) and House Air Way Bills (HAWBs) issued by freight forwarders, provided (1) the export LC and the export sale contract specifically provide for negotiation of export bills against the FCR/HAWB (as the case may be) issued by a freight forwarder and (2) the freight forwarder issuing the FCR/HAWB is operating in Bangladesh with authorization from the BB under section 18A of the FER Act of 1947.
DomiciliationYes.
OtherYes.
Export licensesExports in about 16 product categories are banned; exports in 1 category are exportable with certain restrictions. Some of these are restricted for nontrade reasons, whereas others are restricted to regulate the supply in the domestic market.
Without quotasYes.
Export taxesExports of jute are taxed.
Other export taxesYes.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersPayments for invisibles related to authorized trade transactions are generally not restricted.
Trade-related paymentsPayment abroad of commissions and remittances for operational expenses is subject to indicative limits and bona fide checks.
Prior approvalUp to 5% of export receipts (up to 33.3% in the case of books) may be remitted abroad for commissions without prior approval from the BB.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Investment-related paymentsADs are allowed to remit dividends to nonresident shareholders without prior approval from the BB on receipt of applications from the companies concerned. Applications must be supported by an audited balance sheet; a profit and loss statement; and a board resolution declaring to their head offices dividends from profits earned from foreign firms, banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions operating in Bangladesh. These remittances are, however, subject to ex post checking by the BB.
Prior approvalNo approval is required if loan agreements have been cleared by the Board of Investment (BOI).
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Payments for travel
Quantitative limitsThe indicative limit for personal travel by resident Bangladesh nationals to countries other than Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka is $3,000 a person a year or its equivalent; the allowance for air travel to these seven countries is $1,000 a year. For new exporters, the indicative limit for business travel is $6,000 a person a year or its equivalent; established exporters are permitted to use balances held under the Export Retention Scheme (10% of exports of ready-made garments and 50% of other export proceeds). Manufacturers producing for the domestic market and importers are granted business travel allowances equivalent to 1% of turnover as declared in tax returns and 1% of the value of imports, respectively. There is an annual ceiling of $5,000 or its equivalent in both cases. Amounts in excess of these limits require documents attesting to the bona fide nature of the transaction.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Personal paymentsForeign exchange for education is available up to the cost of tuition and living expenses, as estimated by the educational institution concerned. Prior permission is not required for the remittance of fees for approved undergraduate, postgraduate, and professional courses.
Foreign exchange is available for the costs of dependents abroad, on presentation of a certificate from the Bangladesh embassy in the country concerned, up to a reasonable level, which is based on prevailing prices.
Prior approvalPrior approval is required for the transfer of pensions.
Quantitative limitsUp to $10,000 or its equivalent may be obtained for medical expenses without prior approval. Larger amounts may be obtained with approval of the BB after submission of documents attesting bona fides.
Indicative limits/bona fide testApplications for foreign exchange for studies abroad and for family maintenance are approved on verification of their bona fide nature.
Foreign workers’ wages
Quantitative limitsForeign nationals may remit freely up to 50% of their net salary in connection with service contracts approved by the government. The entire amount of their earned leave pay and savings may also be freely remitted.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Credit card use abroad
Prior approvalGeneral approval is given for credit card use by (1) exporters against the foreign exchange retention entitlement, (2) residents against the annual indicative travel entitlement, and (3) residents against balances held in resident foreign currency deposit accounts.
Quantitative limitsYes.
Other payments
Prior approvalPrior permission is not required for the remittance of royalties and technical fees by firms registered with the BOI (1) up to 6% of the cost of imported machinery or (2) up to 6% of the previous year’s sales as declared in income tax returns for ongoing concerns.
Indicative limits/bona fide testIndustrial enterprises producing for local markets may remit up to 1% of sales receipts declared in the previous year’s tax return for the purpose of training and consultancy.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Surrender requirements
Surrender to authorized dealersExporters of services are required to surrender to ADs 95% of the proceeds (50% of proceeds from computer services) and may use retained earnings for bona fide business purposes. Bangladesh nationals working abroad may retain their earnings in foreign currency accounts or in nonresident foreign currency deposit accounts. Unless specifically exempted by the BB, all Bangladesh nationals who reside in Bangladesh must surrender any foreign exchange coming into their possession, whether held in Bangladesh or abroad, to an AD within one month of the date of acquisition. However, returning residents may keep, in foreign currency accounts opened in their names, foreign exchange brought in at the time of return from abroad, provided the amount does not represent proceeds from exports from Bangladesh or commissions earned from business activities in Bangladesh. Residents may retain up to $5,000 or its equivalent brought into the country without declaration. Foreign nationals residing in Bangladesh for more than six consecutive months are required to surrender within one month of the date of acquisition any foreign exchange representing their earnings with respect to business conducted in Bangladesh or services rendered while in Bangladesh.
Restrictions on use of fundsRetained foreign exchange may be used for travel abroad or bona fide business purposes.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Surrender requirements
Surrender to the central bankYes.
Surrender to authorized dealersResidents are required to repatriate and sell to ADs the foreign exchange proceeds from all approved capital transactions abroad.
Controls on capital and money market instruments
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsNonresidents may buy Bangladesh securities through stock exchanges against payment in freely convertible currency remitted from abroad through banking channels.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsProceeds from sales, including capital gains and dividends earned on securities purchased in Bangladesh, may be remitted abroad in freely convertible currency. Nonresidents may not issue securities in Bangladesh.
Bonds or other debt securities
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
On money market instrumentsControls apply to all these transactions.
On collective investment securities
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsThese transactions are subject to prior approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission. If an instrument is denominated in foreign currency, prior BB approval is required.
Controls on derivatives and other instruments
Purchase locally by nonresidentsThese transactions are not allowed.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThese transactions are not allowed.
Purchase abroad by residentsADs may obtain hedging abroad against exchange rate risks on underlying trade transactions.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial credits
By residents to nonresidentsExport payments deferred for more than 120 days require BB authorization.
To residents from nonresidentsCommercial credits may be used by residents for import of industrial raw materials (180 days) and capital machinery (360 days) without prior approval.
Financial credits
By residents to nonresidentsExcept in certain cases, credits are subject to prior BB approval.
To residents from nonresidentsADs may obtain short-term loans and overdrafts from overseas branches and correspondents for a period not exceeding seven days at a time. Industrial enterprises may borrow funds or make deferred payments for imports for a period beyond 360 days, with prior BOI approval.
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
By residents to nonresidentsOn behalf of residents, banks may issue guarantees or sureties in favor of nonresidents for permissible current transactions.
To residents from nonresidentsReceipt of guarantees or sureties by residents from abroad requires full disclosure of the underlying transaction.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentAll outward transfers of capital require approval. For resident-owned capital, approval is granted only in exceptional cases.
Inward direct investmentInvestments, except in the industrial sector, require approval. The Foreign Private Investment (Promotion and Protection) Act provides for the protection and equitable treatment of foreign private investment, indemnification, protection against expropriation and nationalization, and guarantee of repatriation of investment. There is no ceiling on private investment. Tax exemptions are granted for periods of up to nine years, depending on location.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentLiquidation of direct investment through the NITA does not require prior BB approval. In addition, transfers of Bangladesh shares and securities from one nonresident holder to another nonresident holder do not require prior BB approval. However, proceeds from the disinvestment of nonresidents’ equity investments in unlisted public limited companies and in private limited companies may be repatriated with prior BB permission, since there may not be any established market value for such investments at the time of a disinvestment. When a nonresident liquidates investment through a sale to a resident investor, the net asset value of the shares of the company is used as the basis for calculating the repatriation of proceeds.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsRemittances of funds for these purchases are not permitted.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsPurchases of real estate by a nonresident with funds from abroad are allowed.
Sale locally by nonresidentsRepatriation of sales proceeds is subject to prior approval by the BB, which is not normally granted.
Controls on personal capital transactions
Loans
By residents to nonresidentsThese transactions are not allowed.
To residents from nonresidentsThese transactions are not allowed.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
By residents to nonresidentsTransfers of title to nonresidents by way of inheritances are not restricted, but income and sales proceeds from such assets are not normally transferable abroad and are required to be used locally with prior authorization from the BB.
To residents from nonresidentsA resident Bangladesh national must obtain prior approval from the government to receive gifts or endowments from a foreign donor. Inheritances must be reported to the BB. Net current income from estates inherited abroad must be repatriated.
Settlements of debts abroad by immigrantsThese transactions are normally not allowed, except for repayments on borrowing for industrial investments in accordance with BOI guidelines.
Transfer of assetsThese transactions are not allowed, except for movable personal assets.
Transfer abroad by emigrantsThese transactions are not allowed, except for normal travel allowances for residents.
Transfer into the country by immigrantsThese transactions are permitted, subject to a requirement that transfers exceeding $5,000 or its equivalent must be declared.
Transfer of gambling and prize earningsGambling is prohibited in Bangladesh.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksForeign Private Investment (Promotion and Protection) Act.
Provisions Specific to the Financial Sector
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsPrior BB approval is not required for taka advances in the form of purchasing checks from foreign embassies, international organizations, or foreign nationals employed therein drawn on their accounts abroad. Effective August 14, 2006, term loans in taka for capacity expansion of resident companies owned by foreigners may be extended or renewed by banks without prior approval from the BB, provided (1) the term loan in taka does not exceed, as a percentage of total term borrowing, the percentage of equity of the company held by Bangladesh nationals and companies not owned or controlled by foreigners; and (2) total debt of the company does not exceed the 50:50 debt-equity ratio.
Borrowing proposals not conforming to these regulations require prior approval of the BB.
ADs are permitted to extend working capital facilities to type “B” (joint venture) units of EPZs for the procurement of components needed for up to four months worth of production on the basis of the banker-customer relationship and the customer’s ability to repay from export proceeds.
Borrowing abroadThe regulations governing financial credits apply.
Maintenance of accounts abroadThe maintenance of these accounts is subject to notification to the BB.
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)Lending to nonresidents is not allowed, except with prior BB approval and in specific cases.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeLending is subject to prior approval from the BB. ADs are permitted to use up to 50% of nonresident foreign currency deposit balances for (1) lending to exporters for settlement of back-to-back sight LCs for imports of inputs and (2) discounting usance bills of wholly foreign-owned (type “A”) and joint venture (type “B”) EPZ units against input supplies to exporters. Industrial enterprises may borrow funds or make deferred payments for imports for a period beyond 360 days, with prior BOI approval.
Purchase of locally issued securities denominated in foreign exchangePurchases are subject to prior approval from the BB.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Interest rate controlsBanks are required to maintain interest rates on foreign currency deposits in line with international market rates.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts held by nonresidents
Interest rate controlsADs are authorized to allow interest payments on ACU dollar accounts maintained with ADs by their correspondent banks in other ACU member countries.
Open foreign exchange position limitsIn accordance with BB limits, ADs’ net open positions may not exceed 12.5% of their capital.
Provisions specific to institutional investors
Pension fundsn.a.
Investment firms and collective investment fundsn.a.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Changes during 2006
Imports and import paymentsJuly 1. Tariff rates were reduced to 5% and 12% from 6% and 13%, respectively.
Exports and export proceedsMarch 29. Negotiation of export bills could take place under qualifications stipulated in the relevant regulations.
Provisions specific to the financial sector
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsAugust 14. Term loans in taka for capacity expansion of resident companies owned by foreigners could be extended or renewed by banks without prior approval from the BB, provided (1) the term loan in taka does not exceed, as a percentage of total term borrowing, the percentage of equity of the company held by Bangladesh nationals and companies not owned or controlled by foreigners; and (2) total debt of the company does not exceed the 50:50 debt-equity ratio. Borrowing proposals not conforming to these regulations require prior approval of the BB.

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